Does your family have a fundamental difference when it comes to grocery shopping? Does the way that someone shops for food on a weekly/daily basis make you mad? In all the times that my parents have been down to Chile to take care of me, I think they have seen the inside of the Jumbo store at east sixty times over the past five years. Every time I look up there they go to get snacks, or meat, or dinner, or lunchmeat, or something. My parents turn the corner from my house and fit the key, as they begin their daily march to Jumbo. Mom and Dad brave the four blocks from the store, laden with heavy bags of juice or wine, as well as a bulging red pack on their back. Thank you, mom and dad, for the support. Without that, our meals would definitely be lacking. And sometimes, when you have little else to live for, a home-cooked meal becomes essential.
Herein lies our fundamental difference to shopping. I don’t know if this is a male trait, but Jon prefers to go grocery shopping every day to buy what he needs. He is a very tall person, and it takes a lot to keep him and my steroids fed. He shops very quickly and does not take the time to look around for the best deal. My parents prefer to spend as little money at the grocery store as possible. I like to think about what we have in the fridge and make lists accordingly. Jon is most definitely not a list person. In fact, if I make a list, he will end up going to the grocery multiple times, as he has most definitely not checked off my list. I prefer to go to the store myself to see what looks good, and buy things accordingly. I do not need one, let alone, two boxes of un-ripened cherry tomatoes. I would really like to shop independently, but I cannot buy groceries in my current condition. I get too dizzy and the load becomes too heavy. I squint and cannot read the labels and prices. I cannot drive the car to carry a heavy load, nor walk home with full grocery bags, so I should be a lot less picky about what I put in my mouth. I should just be thankful for any food whatsoever, but I’m not. I’m mean and vicious when I don’t get what I want. I’m trying to be much more patient, and try to eat little things throughout the morning to keep my energy up. But I end up getting hungry, and sounding like a spoiled brat. I need to stop that.
Without further ado and without an appropriate transition, here goes an all-important public shout out to my parents. Neither my mother nor my father is very comfortable with public praise or any kind of emotion at all. I think my dad, due to his British heritage, enjoys teatime and a well-fought tennis match, much more than the average, red-blooded American. Due to his previous experiences with the disease, I believe he would prefer to keep a stiff upper lip about my affliction, and not mention the word “cancer” at all. Sorry- my blog keeps the family secrets blowing in the breeze.
My mother is also emotionally guarded. I tried to get her to say that Ali looked pretty the day of her beach wedding, but that was a little too much for her. She taught me a lot about international traveling, little black brochures, and world heritage sites, but not much about how to make it through life with a debilitating disease. None of us knows how to handle that! My cancer has certainly taken its toll on them, their health, their money, and their time. I am really fortunate to have parents who care so much about me, and have been down to visit when the going gets tough. I’m sorry for yelling and getting frustrated when you both are just trying to help. I wish I could be more patient and not get mad at the hospital staff for doing their job. They are required to do that job and our just following doctors orders. You both have been such a blessing (I hate that word, but it seems appropriate) to both me, and Jon, over the years, so thank you, thank you, thank you. We will never forget it!